Published by: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN 13: 9781489220370
Published: March 2017
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Set in the time of the Crusades a young hairbraider to the Queen finds herself through crazy random happenstances that land her in Southern France and in the arms of a Lord who thought her beautiful in Court, but their differences in linage meant they could never be together. He then thinks her dead for refusing her King’s advances, and he moves on with life. Thanks to her likeness to a Lady travelling to marry him to strengthen armies and political alliances, who is slain before their party arrives in the Lord’s castle, Adela takes her place almost by accident and limited fluency with languages and though she means to tell him she’s Adela rather than Lady Alys it keeps getting delayed over and over.
At almost 450 pages we see almost unbelievable instances of events, but on paper it flows and holds you tight so you can’t put the book down at all. If you listed the plot down in dot points it would seem unbelievable, but thanks to excellent characters and sturdy language, Martyn leaves you only wanting more. We have romance, battles, and clever characters trying to stay alive and on top. The Lord Richart isn’t easily swayed one way or another, even when Adela is involved, and we see a believable lord in a time where he’s probably had to avoid many attempts on his life by the time he is 18 – his healthy paranoia was what really set him apart for me – he thought for himself, which was refreshing to see.
Adela was an excellent protagonist – she’s utterly human and compassionate for even those who wrong her, and she is believably intelligent for the time, and good at using it when necessary. I only now want another book to see how she copes with this new chapter in her life – even if it were just a novella – please, Martyn?
There is no better way to learn history than reading an excellent piece of historical fiction. I haven’t come across Martyn’s books until now, but now I’m certainly one the hunt for more.
For further information, the publisher website is excellent.